Exploration of self

Part of my drawing final was a self-portrait project in charcoal.  To say I struggled with this is an understatement.  First off, I despise doing my own self-portrait.  I’ve never done one that I even remotely liked.  Secondly, this is my first time using charcoal.

My professor, knowing that I needed to push myself, was a bit relentless in pushing me to play with this.  The result was several different portrait styles, and a total shift in the final one from how it began.  We were not allowed to work from a photo, and had to set up our light source during each class.


This is the first one, done on newsprint.  It was rather quickly done, and turned out ok although I greatly underestimated the amount of hair I have.



This is the second one, also done on newsprint.  I used a broken mirror for this one.  The hair is better, and this also reflects how I feel about self-portraits!



This was a very quickly done sketch done only with compressed charcoal and newsprint.


Yet another effort.  He gave us several weeks of in class time to work on these, and wanted us to really play with the medium.  This one was done on Rives BFK.  I was pretty ok with this one, but we still had two weeks to work on the final piece.  Plus, the professor wouldn’t let me be done at this point.



The beginning of my final portrait.  Also on Rives BFK.  And yes, my attitude about self-portraits is still reflected in my expression.



Left up to me, I would have been finished here.  However, still had 3 or 4 more classes worth of work to do.  The professor wanted me to push this one further.



At this point I stopped focusing on my face, and started messing around with texture.  I even used some sandpaper.

I was soooo over this portrait at this point.  I even told the professor that all I really wanted to do to it was set it on fire and burn it.  So he told me to go burn it.  Hmm..



No going back…




I stopped before it went too far….


Some spray fixative, and another selfie later…



The duality of this portrait is what I like.  That, and I’m done with this assignment!!



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